New Delhi: Sri Lankan security forces, on Saturday, carried out an operation to take down militants linked to the Easter Sunday bombings in eastern province of the country, in which 15 people including six children and three women died.
The shootout occurred as the security forces continued their hunt for members of the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ), the local terror organization who is behind the Easter Sunday bombings in which 253 people were killed and over 500 injured.
The special task force and army troops, following a tip-off, raided a house in Kalmunai city, about 360 kms from Colombo, on Friday night, that lead to the heavy exchange of fire with the militants. While the heavily-armed men opened fire on troops, civilians caught in the middle and got killed. But, when the intensity of the clash increased, three men set off explosives.
After the incident a police spokesperson said, “a total of 15 bodies recovered, six men, three women and six children. At least four suspected suicide bombers are dead and three others who were injured are in hospital.”
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera further said, “When the police were doing a joint search operation in Sainthamuruthu, gunfire was directed at them.” A suicide blast took place and the body of a terrorist with a T56 assault rifle was also found at the site. A huge cache of explosives was also recovered from the spot.
An army official said, “Officials have recovered detonators, suicide kits, army uniforms and ISIS flags.”